25th Anniversary Tribute
Top Philly entertainment talent joins forces for Show Biz extravaganza to raise funds for local theatre building and venue renovations.
When Denise Shubin, gifted dancer, actor and operatic singer, and her artist-engineer husband Don Martinelli, purchased the building on Bainbridge Street in 1987, they had a plan. Home would include a theatre on the ground floor; the humans would live on the two floors above, crowned by a beautiful rooftop “lounge.” Then time happened. Twenty-five years’ worth.
And over that span of time, “show biz” also happened; like a member of the family. Now show business will happen in another unique way. Call it a huge buffet of extraordinarily diverse performing arts. Call it a different entertainment feast for most of 18 consecutive days and nights. Call it a celebration of the quarter-century mark for a small Philly theatre that has a big reputation with actors, singers, dancers, musicians, playwrights, magicians, directors and producers – to say nothing of audiences and loyal fans – as the embodiment of what Off-off-Broadway actually means. Call it whatever, but call asap…this venue seats just over forty!
Denise and Don, mostly due to their generosity in making theatre space available to Philly artists at reasonable (or less than) cost, have not become millionaires. In the same time frame, building and venue facilities got older, recently requiring substantial renovations. At one time or another in the last quarter of a century, some of the most notable Philly performers have appeared at the Shubin. Now, as an expression of gratitude, they come together to celebrate the valuable contribution made to the region’s arts and entertainment culture by this small, unassuming corner that has become home, haven, gymnasium, workshop and presentation forum for generations of performers and audience.
The range of Festival productions offered is eclectically multidimensional; no other way to say it. For example, the performances of plays, music, dance, magic and readings of local writers begins Thursday, April 12 at 7 pm, with an original epic poem by prize-winning playwright Ed Shockley, WOODCARVER’S BAND. The following evening, April 13 (at 7 and 10 pm) offers a totally different theatrical experience, a special production of THE BEST OF PRIMARY STAGES…TOO! This, representing the most entertaining of the 10-minute plays featured in the ongoing series produced periodically at the Shubin by Philadelphia Dramatist Center (PDC) notable Todd Holtsberry. The Festival beat goes on Sunday April 15 at 7 pm with a fresh cluster of the Primary Stages “best” productions.
Over the next two weeks, audiences can enjoy such events as DREAMLAND (Stories on the fuzzy side of real); PHILLY IMPROV; POETRY & MOTION (The Fiesta Flamenco Dance Troupe joins forces with some of Philly’s finest poets); A MAGICAL EVENING (with magicians Francis Menotti and Fred Siegel; OVERKNIGHT THEATRE AT THE SHUBIN (with Mark Knight, overall Festival producer); MEN AND THEIR PLACE IN THE WORLD (short plays by men, produced by Bill McKinlay, Executive Director of the Brick Playhouse); HAMLET (yes, Shakespeare on Bainbridge!) by Revv Theatre; ONE DAY I RAN INTO A LION WITH A SOMBRERO (and other plays in development); DISCOVERING SAGACITY (short plays by women); THE MUSIC OF LOVE (from Mozart to Sondheim); and the Festival winds up with a special reading of PURPLE GIRL by Debra Leigh Scott.
For specific dates and times of performances, please access SHUBIN APRIL FEST 2012 at Facebook. All tickets $20. To make reservations:http://is.gd/Shubin_Tix.